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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Insanely Icy Conditions

in•sane   [in-seyn]
1. not sane; not of sound mind; mentally deranged.
2. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of a person who is mentally deranged: insane actions; an insane asylum.
3. utterly senseless: an insane plan.

Normally, when other trails in the area are wet and soggy due to rain or snow Clayton can be depended on to be dry because the hills allow for the water to run off into the streams that cut through the park. Today, however, we learned that's not the case when the water running down the hills freezes before it reaches the streams.

The trail conditions today were the worst we have ever seen and that includes Chilly Cheeks. Every trail was covered in a sheet of ice. When we were lucky the ice was covered with some frozen snow in spots to allow for just a little traction. Other times the trail conditions forced us "off road" and into the brush and leaves beside the trail for safety. Hopping over rocks, ducking around tree branches, and in some cases blazing our own trail uphill through the winter foliage I do beleive officially qualifies all of us who ran today as insane.

Despite the conditions, we actually had two first timers join us today...I wonder if they'll ever be back!?!? There were some notable absentees this week but I have to say I think they made the right call today. We really had no business being out there. I think that was probably best illustrated by the park ranger who showed up at 7:05 to unlock the gate to the parking lot. We ran into her again about a half mile in. It was at that point, near a clearing beside the soybean field, where she rolled down the window of her heated truck and warned us to "be careful out there because the trails were pretty icy"...and then she drove off laughing!

If we weren't insane -- there is by the way a fine line between insanity and stupidity and I'd like to think we walked that line but didn't cross it -- we would have turned back then and went back to our warm cars. We instead, of course, soldiered on as a group, fell on our a$$es repeatedly, and eventually made it through mostly unscathed.

Roll call: Andre, Bill S., Bill Y., Butch, Charlie, Diana, Jessica, Nate and our canine friend Cassi (aka Bolt)

Hey's Butch!


  1. I ain't scared! :-)
    I'll definitely come out and try it again - though I can't make any promises for this Saturday since I have late night planned in NYC on Friday! (woot, woot!)
    Seriously you all couldn't have been nicer and really made me feel so comfortable even though I steadily brought up the rear the entire time (I have a strong suspicion that a lot of those little "pit stops" were on my account!). Diana thanks again for letting me "trail" you! I honestly had a lot of fun - just hope next time I can actually let my eyes wander up from the trail to look around at the scenery. I sensed that park was beautiful.

  2. It was just a bit icy.
    Hopefully next Clayton run, we can experience the real trails.